2 Baltimore teens pursue educational opportunity with NFTE Program

BALTIMORE - 16-year-old Elizabeth Fofana loves crocheting.  Through the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship or NFTE, Elizabeth has turned it into a business.

An opportunity taking her to New York to compete in a national competition worth thousands of dollars.

"I feel proud of myself because at my age many people think crocheting is for older people.  At first I was offended, but I really don't care. It's making me money and taking me further," said Elizabeth Fofana, NFTE finalist.

Elizabeth moved to the United States from Africa when she was 11-years-old.  She comes from a family of female entrepreneurs, joining the NFTE Program at National Academy Foundation High School was a great opportunity.

She developed Elizabeth's Elegance and sells hats, scarves and handbags.  The NFTE Program inspires students from low income communities to stay in school and plan for a successful future.

Students were required to develop and present business plans to a panel.  The NFTE Program offers hands on training while connecting math, reading and writing to their business.

"It's not always about building the business.  It's about building the skill set and confidence to be a productive citizen in Baltimore," said Ted Capshaw, Executive Director of NFTE Baltimore.

Elizabeth has big plans for her business.

"I want to help others. I want to open my own school in Africa to give other kids an opportunity to learn and grow," said Fofana.

Elizabeth is one of 34 finalists that will head to New York on October 11th for the 2012 NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.  The grand prize is $25,000

Finalists also filmed an elevator pitch at http://www.elevatorpitch2012.com

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